No more election boycott – says Sierra Leone’s opposition NGC

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 June 2019:

Supporters and well-wishers of the National Grand Coalition Party (NGC)  have questioned the rationale behind the decision of the party to boycott elections held in Sierra Leone, after failing to make significant impression at the March 2018 general and presidential elections, which saw the party winning only 7% of votes.

NGC party bosses said they had decided to boycott all subsequent elections in protest at what they regarded as electoral fraud committed by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), robbing the party of hundreds of thousands of votes across the country.

But many of the NGC party grassroot supporters say that the decision to boycott all subsequent elections have dealt a severe blow to their party’s credibility and electoral appeal.

Today, It seems that NGC party bosses have listened to those concerns, and have responded with a statement saying that the party will now end its boycott.

This is what Dr Dennis Bright – the chairman of the party, said in his statement issued yesterday:

The National Grand Coalition (NGC) would like to inform the general public that following consultations with its membership across the country and the diaspora, the party has decided to review its position on participation in bye-elections in the country.

It will be recalled that the NGC suspended its participation in elections due to the blatant irregularities that occurred during the Tonko Limba Bye elections in which the National Electoral Commission at its highest level displayed stark incompetence in the conduct of the election to the extent that, contrary to electoral rules and procedure, the results were announced by the Chief Electoral Commissioner without even completing the public tallying process.

Furthermore, the NGC stated its unwillingness to contest further elections if the current leadership of NEC does not resign. It is obvious that such honourable acts are not within the moral compass of the leadership as business has continued at NEC as usual.

However, the NGC notes that a committee has been set up to steer implementation of the recommendations of the 2018 Elections Observer Missions (EOM) in which a significant number of reforms pertaining to electoral laws and practices are proposed.

The NGC is a member of that committee and will use that opportunity to press for those reforms at NEC and in the laws that will prevent a recurrence of the Tonko Limba Bye Election disaster.

Therefore the general membership is of the view that the party should resume participation in the electoral process not only for them to exercise their franchise but to further acquaint itself with all the flaws in the system that must be eradicated and brought up for consideration at the EOM recommendations implementation committee.

Based on experience, the NGC is returning wiser and bolder and will not be ready to accept blatant malpractices such as those perpetrated in Tonko Limba.

We still believe in the spirit and letter of the countless Memoranda for Peaceful and Non-violent conduct that have been signed with the police, NEC and PPRC and do not expect institutions such as NEC to destroy the Democracy on which the future of our nation depends.

Consequently, it is hereby announced that the NGC will be contesting the Parliamentary Bye Elections in Constituency 110 slated for 24th August 2019 in the Western Area Rural District and Constituency 043 in the Koinadugu District on 21st September 2019.

Our membership is therefore informed that the first public engagement in this regard will be the nomination of Ibrahim Kabba a.k.a. Small Borbor on Thursday 27th June 2019 at the NEC District Office, Chukuma Johnson Drive, Waterloo. (End of statement).

It remains to be seen whether by ending its boycott, the NGC party can regain its momentum, and begin to build its political base across the country, so as to achieve electoral gains beyond its Kambia stronghold, where all four of its elected members of parliament are clustered.

(Photo: NGC Parliamentary leader and co-founder – Dr Kandeh Yumkella, on whose shoulders the task of driving the party forward, rests).

The NGC will need to formulate a new National Political Development and Campaign Strategy, as well as look beyond its membership to raise millions of dollars, if it is to make a significant impact at the 2023 elections.

NGC is far from being a government in waiting. Relying on the possibility of the ruling SLPP messing up in governance to then pick up the reigns, is unrealistic.

NGC needs to build its electoral appeal from the bottom up. And each election boycotted, makes that work all the more difficult and harder for the party to build credibility, trust and voter appeal.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot Emmanuel. What you just explained going on in the C4C just tells you how democratic the C4C party is. As you said, Chief Sam Sumana on one hand wants to reconcile with the APC and Mr. Emerson Lamina and others don’t. That just shows you that, democracy is at play. I am very confident that they will solve the issue amicably. These are just some of those minor things that happen in any organization. However, this information is new to me.

    The day before yesterday, some say I am SLPP, yesterday I am APC and now, Emmanuel is saying, I am C4C. Who knows where I might be tomorrow even though I have made my position clear? May be NGC. No problem. As you said, I have no clue as of yet on results of the bye election results in Kono. Would you please be kind enough to inform me?

    As regards the construction of the university. Have they started construction or just brushed the grass and place the pegs so that people will not encroach on the land? Please update me. This is an impressive and interesting STUFF. Thanks Emmanuel and GOD BLESS YOU.

  2. OH poor new NGC in a monstrous political arena comparable to a fierce battle in the lion’s den. We warned them before the last election to explore the mentality of the core voters in Sierra Leone before registering, but they did not listen.

    The SLPP and the APC have made elections a money making business in Sierra Leone. The electorate are so money CONSCIOUS that only CASH will convince them. They are not interested in policy, good development plan or party manifesto. When you tell some of these people that you have a good plan to make the country develop, the reply by saying that, its not your plan that is going to feed them.

    To be honest, it takes a POLITICAL PARTY or MOVEMENT a lot of time and money to dislodge/kick these two parties out of politics and send them to the political wilderness forever. US$1 BILLION dollars at a minimum will be needed. With such an amount, you could start providing essential services for people all over the country. You go from there.

    The Democratic National Movement which we tried to lunch to help us achieve President Macron of France type of victory did not work because, our political parties are not democratic
    .
    Just imagine someone entering a political party office and asking for registration. You then ask them for their constitution/manifesto. After, you ask them what would happen to me if I vote against my party on anything that I feel is not proper or good for the country, they simply use the words ‘ Kick You out’.

    The executive in the first party office we entered replied with emphasis that, WE KICK YOU OUT. At the second party office, the executive there was a bit calm, although they said in the end that, the only options available was to KICK US OUT. The executive at the third party office was polite with us. He took their constitution and went through the rights of their members.

    But on the same question about voting against the party if we were not satisfied with any issue, he replied that, a committee of five people will have to decide our faith. When we pressed by asking what the outcome would be, he replied, you just have to be thrown out.

    You see, this just tells one how difficult it is to convince members from other political parties to your side. We finally concluded that we could not achieve a President Macron’s type victory. The only way to dislodge these two political giants is for us to coalesce with them for real change or to infiltrate them and become a resistance within.

    By the way, the APC has started making headway in NGC strongholds. The PMDC too has started making headway in SLPP strongholds. The C4C is surprisingly making headway throughout the country. However, these parties, although making headway, should not be complacent. That is why we are going to have a lot of horse trading in 2023.

    You see how difficult the political map is becoming disgusting for the NGC? Again, OH poor new NGC. May God help them regroup and find new strategies.

    • Good evening brother. What headway is c4c making in the country when they keep begging to reconcile with the APC as a means of ever getting political power. Did you see what just passed in the by election in your party stronghold Kono, compared to their landslide victory in 2018.

      It tells you that your party’s momentum is slowing down in your stronghold because of the inconsistence of your party flag bearer. Lastly I will inform that construction have started on the University with will cost 50 million which you said in one of your comments as mere promised.

      Kindly make though research before commenting on issues that you have no clue on sir. For your party it’s already divided with some in favour of reconciliation headed by Sam; and those against, headed by Emerson Lamina. Thanks very much sir.

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